Video Surfaces of China and India Fighting With Sticks and Stones at Border

1 week ago

A new video of a border clash between Chinese and Indian soldiers, showing the two militaries fighting with sticks and stones, has surfaced on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

The dramatic footage underscores the military tensions between the nuclear-armed states. During multiple clashes in 2020, the Chinese and Indian soldiers used sticks and stones to attack each other, as both sides had signed agreements that stopped them from carrying guns while patrolling the border areas.

Intense footage shows Chinese PLA soldiers beating Indian soldiers on yet another border clash.

Sticks and stones on the display. pic.twitter.com/yrEY3K1F0I

— Clash Report (@clashreport) June 8, 2024

A social media handle named Clash Report claimed on June 8 that a new video of a clash between the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and Indian soldiers at their mutual border had surfaced.

"Intense footage shows Chinese PLA soldiers beating Indian soldiers on yet another border clash," wrote Clash Report on X, formerly Twitter, on June 8.

Since the standoff began in 2020, at least 50,000 soldiers on both sides have been stationed face-to-face in the Eastern Ladakh region. The deployment extends far beyond these immediate numbers, with the Indian Army reportedly having between 150,000 and 200,000 soldiers facing China.

In June 2020, a violent skirmish between Indian and Chinese patrols in a Himalayan ravine marked the first deadly clash along the disputed border in nearly fifty years. The encounter resulted in the deaths of twenty Indian troops and at least four Chinese soldiers.

The PLA is said to have a comparable number of troops, with up to 200,000 soldiers from the Xinjiang and Tibet Military Regions, according to earlier reports from Newsweek.

Newsweek's analysis shows that the new video is from an old clash in 2020, but it is shot from a different angle. Over the past few days, Chinese military bloggers on Weibo have shared old videos of military clashes from 2020.

"China on Friday unveiled video of China-India Galwan Valley border conflict in June 2020 to pay respect to PLA martyrs who died in the clash with trespassing foreign military personnel," Chinese state media outlet China News reported in February 2021.

Videos of the recent clash, recorded by PLA soldiers, have usually first surfaced on Weibo, before appearing on X.

The recently surfaced videos aren't the first of their kind, as Chinese military bloggers have leaked similar ones in the past. The latest video leak coincided with the announcement of a new Indian parliamentary cabinet and the swearing-in ceremony for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's third term in power.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has yet to congratulate Modi on the election victory, while all major world leaders have sent their congratulations. The Chinese foreign ministry congratulated Modi, in a statement.

The region of Ladakh, where the two sides have deployed a large number of soldiers, is effectively under India's control. But China contests India's administrative control on Ladakh.

"China has never recognized the so-called union territory of Ladakh set up unilaterally and illegally by India," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said in December 2023.

Indian Army Solidiers In Arunachal Pradesh
Indian Army soldiers in Arunachal Pradesh state, near the border with China, on October 20, 2021. Chinese military bloggers have leaked videos of the military clash with Indian soldiers as tensions between the two Asian... MONEY SHARMA/AFP via GETTY images

But India considers Ladakh part of its territory while denying Beijing's claim.

"India's consistent and principled position is that Arunachal Pradesh and the entire Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are, and shall be an integral part of India," said India's Ministry of External Affairs in April.

China has also claimed India's Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet.

Experts have emphasized the simmering military tensions between the two countries, which may appear stable.

"The situation on the border is maybe even more critical for India for several reasons. First, China's tactics of erosion, with fake withdrawals followed by consolidation, have created facts on the ground that will be hard to erase," wrote François Godement, special adviser on Asia and the United States at the French think tank Institut Montaigne, on April 12 in Asian security publication, The Diplomat.

Newsweek contacted the Chinese Foreign Ministry and India's Ministry of External Affairs for comment via email.

Historically, China has often referred to defending borders and seeking 'national rejuvenation' when discussing Taiwan. However, drawing connections between land frontiers, such as those with India, Russia, or Mongolia, is a relatively new phenomenon. This trend is increasingly linked with China's efforts to rehabilitate its national status, which it perceives as having been lost during the era of "foreign occupation."

Recently, Bloomberg reported that India had deployed an additional 10,000 troops to the border with China, redeploying them from the Western border with Pakistan.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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